‘105 hectares of forest land diverted for Kishenganga project ‘

Jammu: Minister for Forests and Environment  Mian Altaf Tuesday said that 105 hectares of forest land had been diverted for the construction of 330 MW Kishan Ganga Hydel Project in Gurez  while
20 hectares of land  had been diverted for construction of underground tunnels for the project.
The Minister was replying to a Calling Attention Notice by Naeem Akhtar.
The Minister said 3864 trees, 1559 polls and 5792 saplings had to be removed to pave way for the execution of project work.
The Minister said that an amount of Rs. 12.71 crore has been provided as compensation for diversion of forest land under Forest Conservation Act and has been deposited in CAMPA.
The NHPC has also released Rs. 3.96 crore on account of Catchment Area Treatment Plan, out of which Rs. 2.87 crore have been released to the Project Officer Kishan Ganga till date.
Under the Fisheries Management Plan, Rs. 25 lakh has been received by the Fisheries Department till date for development of Fisheries and creating infrastructure out of the Rs. 57 lakh agreed by NHPC.
As per the terms and conditions the user agency was asked not to dump debris on forest land, however when violations were observed in this regard, DFO Bandipora raised a penalty bill of Rs. 29.54 lakh in favour of Chief Engineer, NHPC for damaging trees at approved muck dumping sites and the amount stands recovered and remitted in treasury. Similarly, after the Pollution Control Board raised the issue of problems caused by Muck disposal site, Chandigam Bandipora with the NHPC, the user agency stopped dumping of Muck at the site and took protection measures to rehabilitate the site.
The Minister further informed that once the Muck disposal sites get fully stabilized and rehabilitated through afforestation, the problem of washing away of muck into Nallahs will stop. Besides the Minister said that as per the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) there is a provision of Rs. 223 crore for Environment Conservation and Management.